Canine Hydrotherapy

August 05, 2020 2 min read

What is Hydrotherapy? Hydrotherapy literally means water therapy and can refer to any therapeutic use of water to aid or improve health.  Hydrotherapy started as a treatment for humans in ancient times and expanded to include animals when racehorses started benefiting from seawater. Greyhounds then begun this therapy to improve their strength and speed, as well as heal injuries from racing.

Hydrotherapy for dogs is a form of occupational or physiotherapy that uses water resistance to rehabilitate injuries and relieve pain. Exercising in water has the benefit of providing both buoyancy and resistance, making it possible to strengthen and condition muscles and build endurance without placing stress on the joints.

The buoyancy of the water decreases the stress on your pup’s joints as they try to recover from their condition. This type of therapy is also a natural anti-inflammatory due to its ability to reduce swelling in body tissues. Also, for sporting dogs and other highly active breeds, recreational hydrotherapy is a fantastic way to add physical conditioning exercises that help increase stamina and endurance as well as strengthen muscles.

There are three primary types of hydrotherapy for dogs:

  1. Underwater Treadmill - This is the most common form for dogs and is best suited for those with joint issues and arthritis. 
  2. Whirlpool therapy - Typically used for dogs who are recovering from major surgeries and is great for pain relief. 
  3. Pools- provides a good cardiovascular workout, works the core musculature, and can help to increase the overall burn of calories, especially for obese dogs.

The type of hydrotherapy prescribed depends on the condition being treated, as well as on the condition of the dog.

Here are some of the many benefits:

  1. Relief of pain
  2. Muscle strengthening
  3. Weight loss
  4. Increased range of motion
  5. Promote blood circulation
  6. Tissue healing
  7. Cardiovascular fitness
  8. Faster recovery from injuries
  9. Arthritis
  10. Neurological problems
  11. Reduces inflammation
  12. Hip dysplasia
  13. Amputation of a limb
  14. ACL injuries

If you think your dog could benefit from a hydrotherapy session, speak to your vet, and see what they recommend. One of the best long-term benefits of hydrotherapy is a better quality of life for your pet!   Despite its exceptional benefits, hydrotherapy is not for every dog, such as dogs with cardiovascular issues, infected wounds, or a serious fear of water. A history of aggression can be a problem as well.



Also in Blog

How Long Can a Horse Go Without Water?
How Long Can a Horse Go Without Water?

February 23, 2024 2 min read

Horses are large mammals that require a lot of water to survive. A horse’s body is made up of almost 70% water. Horses lose water through sweat, urination, and other bodily functions. A horse should consume 0.5 gallons of water per 100 pounds of body weight daily. Horses can also gain water from feed. Hay and grass contain 10-15% water. However, grains have almost no water.
What is the Importance of Maintaining a Neutral Posture?
What is the Importance of Maintaining a Neutral Posture?

February 16, 2024 2 min read

Sufferers of back pain have probably heard of the benefits of neutral posture. However, it might be a new term if you just recently noticed some back pain or tension. A neutral posture means positioning your body so it is aligned and balanced, regardless of whether you are sitting or standing.
Fetlock Injuries in Horses: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Recovery
Fetlock Injuries in Horses: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Recovery

February 09, 2024 3 min read

The fetlock is a hinge-like joint that connects the cannon bone and pastern in horses. It’s a crucial joint for horses’ mobility and performance. Unfortunately, this important joint is susceptible to various injuries that can range from mild to severe